Murtzcellanious – LIVE Canadian Idol Thoughts – July 26

Wow, what a hectic day Tuesday was. I returned from LA at 4:30 PM and went directly to the John Bassett theatre with plenty of time to spare.

Anyway, let’s begin with some reader e-mail. I made a mistake in my last report and my thanks go out to Rowan and Jill who pointed out that Ashley Leitao was not in the bottom 3 last week.

Let’s get to it.

Tuesday’s theme was Stevie Wonder and I thought that the choice was particularly interesting. Stevie Wonder definitely seems more American Idol to me, so I was wondering why the choice was made. I actually expected him to be at the show, but this turned out to be a faulty assumption.

I was seated in the right orchestra, in seat J23 which was three rows behind the judges table.

Surprisingly I wasn’t feeling the effects of being on a three-hour time difference and so my dischevelled and unshaven face was the only sign of my jetting experience.

As I walked over to my seat, I walked by Daryl Brunt’s mom and he had a lot of family in town for the show. One of the few perks of living in Sudbury I guess. Haha, just kidding.

When I sat down, I started to analyze what I was about to see. I figured that the Stevie Wonder theme would favour Casey and Amber. I also couldn’t wait to see if Josh would finally choose a song that had lyrics.

I looked around at all of the various signs that people were carrying. I liked one in particular that said “GET REXCITED!” It’s almost always a usual affair to see a plethora of Goudie support at the theatre, but I was happy to see a sign that avoided mentioning “SEXY REXY” or his hat.

I also liked one that said “GRUNT FOR BRUNT.”

I am still not sure which member of CTV does the Michael Buffer impression to introduce John Brunton to the stage, but he did it flawlessly once again and the producer hyped the rehearsal before making way for Ben Mulroney and the judges. Ben introduced his mother and two brothers who were in the audience. The reaction that Ben received was the loudest that I have ever heard while covering Idol, so perhaps his family added to the volume.

The show began and Mulroney introduced a video montage of Wonder.

Let’s get to the performances!

CASEY LEBLANC
– sang “Heaven Help Us All.”
– Had a rough opening.
– Hit solid high notes in the chorus.
– Seemed uncomfortable on stage.
– She seemed quite serious on stage, I think that she learned a great deal from her disasterous performance last week.
– High notes were generally outstanding.
– Jake: Better than last week, show more emotion.
– Farley: Come out with some more fortitude.
– Sass: Best performance you have done!
– Zack: FIGURE IT OUT if you want to compete!
– Personally, I thought that Casey did a good job. Definitely enough to buy her another week.

At this point in the show, the second row in front of me got yelled at for being annoying with their signs and blocking Mulroney’s prompter. I think that they were Amber’s family members.

A commercial break was taken and out came Sue Brophy to “hype” the crowd. Guess what?! It was Sue’s daughter’s birthday! I think that if Canadian Idol shared Sue’s obsession for birthdays, we would really have a competition. Sue made her daughter and her friends sing the Juicy Fruit song. I don’t know if that was a reward for them, but it was definitely a punishment for the audience.

JOSH PALMER
– Sang “That Girl.”
– Sounded like he was squealing.
– Farley seemed to like it as he was bobbing his head as Josh’s “sang.”
– I am sorry, but dude, this was the definition of karaoke.
– I will give Palmer credit though. At least we could understand the lyrics this time.
– Farley: Good interpretive skills.
– Sass: You’re a good stylist.
– Zack: Not down with the songs, unappealing. ICKY!.
– At this point, Josh retorted by saying that he couldn’t really take Zack’s comments seriously considering the rhinestone shirt that he was wearing.
– Jake: Nothing to say following Josh’s rebuttal.

AMBER FLEURY
– Sang “Lately.”
– Perfect tone.
– Technically sound, but a bad performer.
– Best so far.
– Sass: Your voice is your instrument.
– Zack: Didn’t devour it, rushed tempo.
– Jake: You have to get out of ballads.
– Farley: More elements of soul.
– My question is whether Farley knows any words other than soul?

Amber’s performance was followed by a L’Oreal plug and a commercial.

So far, I ranked the performances in the following order:

1. AMBER
2. CASEY
3. JOSH

Sue Brophy came out and asked members of the audience to sing. Ladies and gentlemen, we have been reduced to Mary Had A Little Lamb.

DARYL BRUNT
– Sang “Superstition.”
– Seemed possessed and much more confident.
– As soon as he came out, you could tell that he would be great.
– I hate the song, but Brunt is actually selling it quite well.
– The surprise of the night! I loved it! Brilliant!
– Zack: Arrangement was Stevie Blunder.
– Jake: Technically good, no soul.
– Farley: Stevie Wonder Bread and something about wheat.
– Sass: GREAT!
– Ben calls it his best performance yet, I agree.

ASHLEY LEITAO
– Decent song choice, but I am not sure what it was.
– She danced with the beat and this added a new element.
– Good job
– Standard Leitao performance… she is reliable.
– Jake: Sang with grit and soul.
– Farley: You had fun!
– Sass: You’re the star of the Casino Review!
– Zack: Outfit is atrocity, show some more flair! CASINO RAMA!

REX GOUDIE
– Sang “Past My Paradise.”
– You will probably remember it more as being the original “Gangsta’s Paradise” by Coolio or “Amish Paradise” by Weird Al.
– Good song choice.
– Always better to pick something that the audience knows (hope you heard that Josh!)
– Farley: You sing with soul!
– Sass: Good on you!
– Zack: Didn’t like it.
– Jake: Soul doesn’t mean African American, it means singing from the soul and that’s what you did tonight.

Time for my rankings up to this point:

1. DARYL
2. ASHLEY
3. AMBER
4. REX
5. CASEY
6. JOSH

After a commercial break, it was time for the next one.

MELISSA O’NEAL
– Sang “Living For The City.”
– Seemed way too serious this time, actually reminded me a lot of Casey.
– I think that she took the judges advice from last week too seriously and while trying to eliminate all of the schmaltz, she completely got rid of her performance.
– Voice is good as usual, but should have smiled more.
– Sass: Pretty good.
– Zack: Liked first verse, but I guess my dog wrote the rest of my arrangement.
– At this point, Farley pulled Zack’s chair out from under him.
– Jake: You have some soul!
– Farley: Appreciated the effort.

During the next commercial break, Sue actually got a kid to sing a song entitled “Happy-NOT-Birthday To Me.” I really contemplating ending my life right there.

Only two performers were left, and I am sure you know by now who I was waiting for.

AARON WALPOLE
– Sang “You Haven’t Done Nothing.”
– I was not feeling the song.
– This week’s theme was hurting the Whopper.
– It was coming off as really bad disco.
– When he asked to the audience to sing “Doo Wop,” there was literally zero response, but the crowd did go crazy when he finished.
– Zack: The best performance of the last two weeks.”
– Jake: Rose to the occasion.
– Farley: Whole lot of soul, beautiful performance.
– When Aaron sat down to go over his voting number with Mulroney, the host asked him to say the number in his “Movie Theatre Voice.” This was absolutely outstanding. While I may not have liked his song, Walpole definitely has a job at MovieTickets waiting for him…

SUZI RAWN
– Finally.
– The best was saved for last.
– Sang “Higher Ground.”
– While I liked the performance, she wasn’t the best of the night in my objective opinion.
– Suzi is just the best performer and singer in this competition. Her high level of experience runs circles around the amateur others. I don’t mean this as a slight on them, she just has been on stage a lot more and has the confidence that is needed.
– Jake: Strong rock performance.
– Farley: You’re so memorable.
– Sass: You own the stage!.
– Zack: BOOM!.

This was a good show that highlighted the strengths, weaknesses and surprises that are now starting to become more apparent on the show. While I think that Josh should be gone, I think that it will be Melissa in a shocker.

Here are my final rankings:

1. DARYL
2. SUZI
3. ASHLEY
4. AMBER
5. REX
6. MELISSA
7. CASEY
8. AARON
9. JOSH

While I was in California, I caught a live showing of Rockstar: INXS and man, it was fantastic. I like Canadian Idol, but Rockstar is on a whole other level and those guys are definitely something to see.

See you after the results!